Balochistan, other issues were discussed: Indian foreign secretary

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New Delhi, Feb. 25 (ANI): Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Thursday replied in the affirmative when asked whether the issue of Balochistan figured in her talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.

Briefing media persons here after the talks here, Ms. Rao said: "Balochistan and other bilateral issues were discussed."

When probed further about Islamabad's charge of Indian interference in Balochistan, Ms. Rao said: "Pakistan raised certain other issues and we responded appropriately, reiterating our national position on these issues."

Pakistan has repeatedly maintained that India has been fomenting unrest in Balochistan. India has rejected this charge and asked Islamabad to supply it with proof of its involvement.

Rao made it clear that New Delhi has not received any dossier from Islamabad on India's perceived role in Balochistan.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir had said that both Balochistan and Kashmir would be on his agenda for Thursday's talks.

Bashir made these remarks shortly before leaving his hotel for the talks venue.

Bashir was leading a 13-member delegation in the talks to be held with Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

He said he had come to New Delhi with the hope of taking talks with India on key bilateral issues, including Kashmir and Balochistan, forward.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit told ANI and other media that Islamabad will be discussing Kashmir in the talks as it saw the issue as being a core one.

During his stay, Bashir is also scheduled to call on External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and the National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon. (ANI)

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